Rockets Fail To Take Advantage Of Westbrook’s Absence And Lose By 31

Rockets Fail To Take Advantage Of Westbrook’s Absence And Lose By 31

If we’re allowed to use last night’s game as an indicator to how the Thunder will fare without Russell Westbrook, then it looks as though we have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Reggie Jackson warms up before the game. Jackson finished with 16 points.

Reggie Jackson warms up before the game. Jackson finished with 16 points.

The Rockets didn’t even look like they belonged on the same court as the Thunder last night. Although, to be fair, the Rockets were playing their fourth game in five nights, so they were already running on tired legs.

Thabo Sefolosha looks for an outlet as Dwight Howard gives chase. Sefolosha finished his night with 13 points.

Thabo Sefolosha looks for an outlet as Dwight Howard gives chase. Sefolosha finished his night with 13 points.

How bad was the Rockets’ night last night? Well, the Thunder started the game with a 13-0 run. The Rockets didn’t even log their first points until Dwight Howard hit a turnaround hook shot with 5:27 remaining in the first. There were absolutely zero ties or lead changes in the game, as the Rockets were just too fatigued to make any significant cuts into the Thunder lead. When all was said and done, the Rockets found themselves on the wrong end of a 117-86 drubbing that dropped their record to 21-12, while improving the Thunder to 25-5.

Kevin Durant slams it down as Omri Casspi watches helplessly. Durant finished with 33 points and 13 rebounds. Casspi dropped 15 from the Rockets bench.

Kevin Durant slams it down as Omri Casspi watches helplessly. Durant finished with 33 points and 13 rebounds. Casspi dropped 15 from the Rockets bench.

Kevin Durant went off last night, posting 33 points and 13 rebounds. He was the only player on either team to manage a double-double. Thabo Sefolosha dropped 13 points last night, and Reggie Jackson was good for 16 as the starting point guard. Add Jeremy Lamb’s career-high 22 points from the bench, and the entire combo proved too much for the Rockets to surmount.

Jeremy Lamb squares off against Aaron Brooks. Lamb dropped a career-high 22 points from the Thunder bench, while Brooks chipped in 17 from the Rockets bench.

Jeremy Lamb squares off against Aaron Brooks. Lamb dropped a career-high 22 points from the Thunder bench, while Brooks chipped in 17 from the Rockets bench.

Chandler Parsons was the only Rockets starter to even manage double digits in points with his 15. Bench players Aaron Brooks and Omri Casspi combined for 32 from the Rockets bench (Brooks: 17 points, Casspi: 15 points), which was only 8 points less than the combined scoring total of all five Rockets starters.

This was just the kind of night the Rockets were having. Chandler Parsons goes for a lay-up, only to be met by a Durant block from behind. Parsons was the only starter to double for the Rockets, finishing with 15 points.

This was just the kind of night the Rockets were having. Chandler Parsons goes for a lay-up, only to be met by a Durant block from behind. Parsons was the only starter to double for the Rockets, finishing with 15 points.

Now the Thunder can rest tonight before welcoming the Portland Trail Blazers to OKC. The Thunder’s last game against them didn’t go so well, as they dropped a Dec. 4th contest in Portland 111-104. Therefore, you know the Thunder are itching to return the favor. The game tips off at 7pm CST, and will be broadcast via Fox Sports Oklahoma, WWLS The Sports Animal, and NBA TV.

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